22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (I Corinthians 9:22-23 NIV)
Pokemon Go has become the latest craze. Instead of fighting it, allow it to lead people to your church and the Gospel. I downloaded it, because my son loved Pokemon as a child, and I heard churches could use it as a way of reaching new people. I even discovered our BGAV sign at our building is a Pokemon stop (More to that later)!
Here are four lessons I have learned from Pokemon Go:
It is a tool to reach new people for Bible study. Many of my churches are Pokemon stops (more to come). I am encouraging them to advertise for all children, youth and young adult events that they are. You may have Pokemon enthusiasts willing to come to an event. Build relationships with them at this event. Get registration information, invite them to other social events and follow up to invite them to Bible study.
Are you as passionate about truths from God’s Word as Pokemon fans are for Pokemon Go? This should be a wakeup call. Are you providing a lesson in such a way that people want to study the scripture, and its application for life after the lesson is over? We have the most powerful word to share. How well are you bringing them into the presence of Christ? The lesson isn’t about what we teach, or how we teach. It is about the “why” as we lead people to a deeper relationship with Christ.
Pokemon Stops remind us to seek Sabbath. In Pokemon Go, you run out of Poke balls pretty quickly as you try to capture Pokemon. The only way to replenish is to go to a Poke Stop. (Again many churches are.) We need to remind our students that they are human beings, not human doings. We focus way too much on what we do. Sabbath reminds us of who we are to replenish our purpose. God has claimed us through Christ to be in relationship (John 15), not try to outperform others. Bible study is a constant reminder of our purpose.
What to do when your bag is full? I discovered at Pokemon Stops that I was picking up more than Poke Balls. I was picking up candy, potions and more. I was surprised when I tried to get Poke balls (I had none), and got the message, “Your bag is full.” To get Poke balls, I needed to get rid of the potions and candy. Why is that important in spiritual maturity? We are bombarded daily by media and information. We have busy lives with work, family and community events. We need to remind our folks of the need each day to spend time in Bible study and prayer. Jesus used Scripture to combat evil powers, and so should we. We need to let go, and prioritize time with God. “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
— Martin Luther (https://loveandbelief.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/to-busy-not-to-pray/)